Sunday, June 12, 2016

Ties and screwdrivers

Men. What to do. What to do. A tie? A screwdriver? Golf balls? Maybe a new plow! What do you buy Dad?

When working at Hallmark, I was very aware of the lack of gift ideas for Dad's Day versus Mom's Day. Gag gifts. Signs with stupid sayings on them that would eventually find their way to the closet or garage sale. Dads. Men, you are impossible.

Gifts for my dad were impossible. June always got Dad a new tie for dad occasions. Peg went for the shirts.  I honestly think I probably bought hankies. He had tools. His hobby was farming. His job was farming. I certainly couldn't buy him a new tractor or other implement. Argh! Men.

Father's Day is spendy. The golfer, the photographer, the sportsman, the sports groupy. Tickets for events, gift cards, ways to spoil our men comes with a healthy price tag....that is unless you are me.

Years ago I decided to write letters to those I love. I figured that words and feelings were the best (and cheapest) gift I could give. The idea came to me through a letter I received, a letter from my father. Never had my dad written to me. His handwriting was terrible, and so he did not write to his children. The letter came at a time when life was difficult for me. I was stunned when it came. It was a letter from a father telling his daughter how much he loved her and wishing he could be nearer to help her. A letter tucked away in a special place. Well, two places. The most important is the place in my heart.

I never wrote a letter to Hollie Stager or Victor Lavy. I did write to the men in my family and to Junior Shuff who was like a brother. I did not give something money could buy or something that just filled the space in gift giving. The older I get, the more I realize the power of words, the sharing of feelings. Yes, I am a hugger. I cannot give a deeper gift than that of myself.

Father's Day love can heal and perhaps open new doors. I find that when men reach an older age, they often want to have that love but by then are not sure how to process it. I have hugged many an old farmer to find that he had no idea that I cared, that I carried memories of him from the child I was.

Happy Father's Day, my friends. May you receive many gifts of love. Add mine as well.

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